The log fire has been unused for about seven days.

Blossoms are bursting like popcorn, lambs are ecstatic to be alive and at daybreak my infant tomato seedlings unfurl and reach for the sun.

This is the season where, for a few short weeks, everything's young. Poet Robert Frost couched it best when he wrote, "nature's first green is gold".

Accordingly, Hawke's Bay hits its straps at this pastoral time of year. Rightfully taking advantage of this, the Royal Show starts today, while the marquee Hawke's Bay A&P Bayleys Wine Awards was staged last night at Waikoko Gardens.


If you've had the good fortune of being at these wine awards - the country's oldest regional wine competition - you'll know it's something to crow about.

Where else can you witness the live announcing of our best wine - only to then be served said wines, category, after category, after category.

I was chastised earlier this year by a local winemaker for waxing lyrical about the soiree. He was quick to tell me it was less about the party, and more about celebrating the industry's accomplishments.

Fair enough. However, I still argue, as did a speaker at last year's awards, that the industry needs wine drinkers as much as it needs wine makers. It's a symbiosis.

So cheers and congratulations to Pernod Ricard for its Boundary Vineyards Farm Lane Hawke's Bay Syrah 2015. Given you're in such good company, Champion Wine of Show is quite the accomplishment.